Sunday, April 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


When jail inmates are ferried to courts in rickshaws
Our Correspondent

Meerut, April 19
The police department in Meerut is facing a fuel famine. The government petrol pump on the Police Lines premises is bone-dry due to delay in release of budgetary grant from the police headquarters.

The situation is so bad that all patrolling vehicles have been grounded. The armed police personnel are now using rickshaws to shift inmates from the jail to the courts.

According to reliable sources, recently a police van (UP-15-8847), which was ferrying inmates from the court to the jail, was abandoned outside the office of the SP as it ran out of fuel. Eventually, the inmates had to be shifted to jail by rickshaw, at considerable risk. Besides, a guard had to be to dispatched to organise a crane to tow away the police vehicle. The crane (UP-15-C-8883), somehow, could not accomplish the job and the police vehicle was stranded on the roadside till late Thursday night.

Another patrol car (UP-70-G-491), which is responsible for patrolling the Partapur bypass area, is also grounded in the police lines due to lack of fuel.

Even though there have been several incidents of robbery and kidnapping in the last one week in Lisari gate police station, which has a mixed population and is considered communally sensitive, petrol car no UP-17-G-7190 is stranded without fuel for the last few days. Petrol car UP-70-G-0490, which is generally deployed on the busy Mawana Road, is also grounded.

When the scheduled banks reopened on Wednesday after a holiday week, a heavy vehicle (UHP-113) was on bank duty for ferrying cash. But this heavy vehicle could not do the assigned job due to shortage of diesel. The result was that cash could not be transferred to several banks.

The worst transpired when the Provincial Armed Constabulary could not rush to a sensitive village after the murder of three members of a family. When the local area police sought reinforcements, the police line flashed a message on the walkie-talkie that the force could not be moved due to lack of fuel.

The fuel crisis stems from failure to get a budgetary grant released from the police HQ at Aallahabad. According to Senior Superintendent of Police Mukul Goel, more than the district police is already owes Rs 15 lakh to a private petrol pump. More than 150 small and heavy vehicles, including jeeps and gypsies are now grounded in the police lines.


Key accused in DDA scam wants to undergo
heart bypass
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
A key accused in the DDA scam, Dharamvir Khattar, today appealed the court to permit him to undergo heart bypass surgery in a private hospital.

Khattar, in an application, said that he might be allowed to be operated upon by Dr Naresh Trehan of Escort hospital. ‘’The applicant would be able to join the investigation, if he survives surgery,’’ said the application filed by advocate Y K Aggarwal on behalf of the accused.

But the CBI, in its application, said that the ‘’accused could not be properly interrogated in police custody due to his alleged health problems. He was not being truthful about the case, deliberately avoiding questions on the conspiracy angle and the recovery of tainted money.’’

The accused, who is in CBI custody till April 24, is admitted at AIIMS. The court has issued notices to both CBI and AIIMS and fixed April 22 as the next date of hearing. In his earlier order on April 17, the court had said the accused could be interrogated either in the hospital or in the CBI headquarters, subject to the approval of the doctors.

The accused was hospitalised on April 15 after he complained of chest pain. The doctors diagnosed some cardiac problems which they said might require surgery.

The CBI has so far arrested 13 people after filing three FIRs in the court. They are Subhash Sharma, an IAS officer of the 1968 batch of UP cadre, Commissioner (land) Anand Mohan Saran, an IAS officer of Haryana cadre, Commissioner (Planning) Vijay Risbud, Director (Planning) Jagdish Chandra, Ashok Kapoor, the suspended Private secretary of former DDA Vice Chairman, Ajay Khanna, an employee of DLF builders, Pradeep Kapoor, Anil Wadhwa, Yashpal Minocha (the three of APY Hoteliers and Developers), Ved Prakash Kaushik (a middleman) and property dealers G R Gogia and Ravindra Taneja.

Accused Khattar had allegedly approached Kaushik on behalf of Subhash Sharma and demanded bribe for regularising the illegal installation of a lift in a hotel. Accused Pradeep Kapoor and Anil Wadhwa of APY Hoteliers and Developers are the promoters of an under-construction hotel in Paschim Vihar in West Delhi.

Khattar, a property developer and a key accused in the land scam, is a resident of Gurgaon in Haryana and has an office in Jangpura Extension in New Delhi.


Rs 70,000 ‘supari’
Woman held for contract killing of husband
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, April 19
The police yesterday arrested a woman who allegedly got her husband murdered from contract killers. Krishna Devi allegedly paid a sum of Rs 70,000 for getting her husband, Mr Balwan Singh, eliminated at Makrauli Kalan village in May last year.

According to police sources, Krishna Devi had stated in an FIR that certain unidentified youths had hacked her husband to death while he was asleep on the rooftop of his house on May 11 last. She had said that she was also sleeping on the rooftop at the time of the incident and noticed the assailants escaping after committing the crime. The police had also interrogated the brothers of the deceased in this connection.

The investigating team suspected the role of Krishna and interrogated her. She reportedly confessed to having given the amount to Upesh of Chuliana village and Purushottam of Sugar Mills Colony here for eliminating her husband. She said her husband wanted to marry her sister Birji Devi which had upset her and drove her to take this extreme step. She admitted the involvement of her sister Birji Devi and a cousin Rampal in the crime. Upesh has been arrested by the police. He has been remanded in police custody till April 19.

Constable shoots self with stengun

New Delhi: A constable reportedly committed suicide by shooting himself with his stengun at a police picket in Vasant Kunj area this morning. No suicide note was recovered from his person. The constable, Ashok, was on duty at national highway number eight when he took the extreme step. According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-West), Tejinder Luthra, head constable Birju and constable Ashok were on night duty. In the morning, the head constable left the picket for some personal work. By the time he returned, Ashok had shot three rounds with his stengun. The constable was married and lived in Saraswati Vihar police colony. The DCP said that the case was being investigated. TNS


MDU should have been more graceful
with grace marks: Court
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak April 19
Reversing the orders of a trial court, the Additional District Judge, Dr Shiva Sharma, has held that appellant Indumati is entitled to one per cent grace marks, which would increase her aggregate from 294 to 300 out of 600 marks and improve her division from third to second.

Mrs Indumati had appeared in the M.Ed examination conducted by the Maharshi Dayanand University in May 1993 and was required to reappear in papers IInd, IIIrd, 7th and 8th. She appeared in December, 1998, and secured 290 marks. Dissatisfied with the result, she applied for revaluation and improved her score from 290 to 294. It was alleged that during revaluation only half of the increased score was added to the original marks, which was not legal.

She also argued that under university rules, one per cent of the total marks is given as grace marks, if by doing so the division of the student changes. The university, however, refused to allow her the benefit of grace marks, forcing her to file a suit in the court of Mr C B Sheoran, Additional Civil Judge (Sr Divn).

The university argued that one per cent grace marks were disallowed to Indumati on the ground that she had already been allowed four grace marks in paper 11 and that now only two marks out of a total of six could be given to her. By giving two grace marks to her, her division was not improving and, therefore, she was not given grace marks as claimed by her.

The trial court dismissed the appeal with costs, on October 5, 2002. Dissatisfied with the judgement, Indumati filed an appeal in the court of Additional District Judge, Dr Shiva Sharma. While Indumati denied that any grace marks were allowed to her in any paper, the university stated that four marks were given to her in paper 11. During cross-examination, a university official stated that he had not brought any records to substantiate the plea that four grace marks were allowed to Indumati. ``The documentary evidence has been withheld by the university. Oral evidence produced by the university is not admissible and is excluded by section 91 of the Indian Evidence Act,” the court’s order said.

“There should be openness in administration because openness or transparency minimises the scope of corruption and misadministration. The university instrumentally should be accountable to the people,” Dr Sharma observed.

The university has not been able to prove that 4 per cent marks were allowed to appellant Indumati and, therefore, “I have no hesitation in accepting the plea of the appellant that no grace marks were allowed to her. That being so, the appellant is entitled to one per cent marks as grace i.e. six marks out of 600,’’ the order said. By granting six marks to the appellant, her total score would increase from 294 to 300 and the division would improve from third to second, Dr Sharma ruled.


Goa Express pantry looted at gunpoint
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 19
The safety and security in the express trains was thoroughly exposed this morning when three armed youths looted the manager of the pantry car in the Goa Express at gunpoint. The gangsters stopped the Delhi-bound train near Ballabgarh railway station and escaped on foot.

According to a complaint lodged with the Railway Police, the youths had possibly boarded the train at Agra station in the wee hours. They reached the cabin of the pantry car manager, identified as Gyanender Singh, at about 6 am. It is reported that the manager initially declined to open the cabin when the youths knocked at his door and demanded morning tea. However, the youngsters were able to prevail upon the manager who was overpowered as soon as he unlocked the door. They whipped out a country made revolver and asked him to hand over the cash kept in a box. The collections amounted to Rs. 1,70,000. They locked the manager in his cabin, pulled the chain and got down as the trian slowed near Ballabgarh. A case has been registered.

This is not the first incident of looting on the Faridabad-Mathura stretch. An army jawan and some others had been poisoned on the train a couple of months back. The victims had been deprived of their valuables. Track signals, too, have been damaged in the region in the recent past by criminals wanting to escape after committing thefts and lootings.

Accountant robbed of Rs One lakh

Meerut: Three armed men in their 30s robbed Rs one lakh and a motor bike from an accountant on Saturday morning on a busy road at pistol point. However, in a swift action, the police recovered the motor bike from the walled city and took two suspects into the custody amidst protests. The cash is yet to be recovered.

According to inspector incharge of Sadar Bazar police station, Arun Kumar Sharma, Mr Ajay Chauhan, an accountant with a rubber and foam unit at Bhola road was asked by his employer to arrange a bank draft of Rs. one lakh against a cheque from the Canara Bank. But when the accountant reached the main branch of the bank, he was told by the staff that they would accept only cash against the draft. Then, he encashed the cheque and left for the Canara Bank branch on Railway Road on his Hero Honda motorbike. The cash was stacked in the tool box of the vehicle.

On Inter college road, he was intercepted by three youngsters. While one of them held Chauhan by the scruff of his neck, the pillion rider pointed a 9 mm pistol at him. When the youths failed to open the tool box, two of them fled with his motor bike. The accountant took a lift in a Maruti car and rushed to the Sadar Bazar Police station. OC


Organised copying or pay-off time?
Vipin Sharma

Rohtak, April 19
An attempt at ‘organised copying’ during class XII examination being conducted by the National Institute of Open Schooling was partially foiled by a team of district officials led by SDM G.L.Yadav today. It is alleged that the persons associated with the conduct of this one-time examination had been minting money through different examination centres in the district. The team inspected five centres and nabbed four examinees using unfair means and detected five cases of impersonation.

According to information, the National Institute of Open Schooling has been running 13 examination centres in the district for the students of classes X and XII. An amount of Rs 10,000 is reportedly being charged from a student towards fee against which the examinee gets an ‘assurance’ of clearing the examination in a single attempt.

The invigilators reportedly adopt a lenient view towards the examinees during the examination. There are nearly 500 examinees appearing at each centre. As per calculations, the amount collected as fee, works out to be approximately Rs 6.5 crore.

According to sources, invigilators, centre owners and the institute officials corner a pretty penny. In a bid to check this malpractice, the District Magistrate, Mr Ashok Yadav, ordered to conduct surprise raids at different exam venues.

He told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that an official team comprising SDM G.L. Yadav, DSP Teeka Ram and District Education Officer Snehlata raided five schools this afternoon. The team detected two cases of impersonation at M.S. Saraswati School and one each at Vidya Bharti Senior Secondary School, Saini School at Prem Nagar locality here and Ved High School at Kalanaur town. A formal detailed report has been sent to Prof M.K. Ambast, Chairman of the institute and Mr Girish, Director (Evaluation). Both the institute officials could not be contacted despite several attempts.

IT inspectors arrested

New Delhi: Three persons, including two income-tax inspectors and a Delhi Police sub-inspector, were arrested last evening in Karol Bagh area for allegedly extorting Rs four lakh from a businessman. The fourth accused, Raj Kumar, personal assistant to the Assistant Director, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) S D Sahay, has been absconding with Rs 25,000 and efforts were being made to trace him. The police said that all four accused went to an auto spares shop belonging to one Amarjit Singh, a resident of Indra Vihar colony, and purchased spares worth Rs 434. After the purchase, the accused reportedly accused the shopkeeper of selling fake spare parts.

They later threatened Singh by brandishing their identity cards and asked him to cough up Rs four lakh; otherwise, he would land in trouble. The foursome finally settled for Rs 50,000.

But Singh, who was already suspicious, informed the police on the sly about the incident. The police, on reaching the shop, arrested three of them and recovered Rs 25,000 from their possession; however, the fourth accused managed to escape. The police also said that the accused were earlier involved in several such incidents. TNS


Roads in disrepair as telecom companies dig and forget
Priyanka Gupta

New Delhi, April 19
The companies like Bharti Telenet, MTNL, Vidyut Board and others have earned a bad name for themselves for digging up roads and then failing to restore them to their original shape. Touchtel, a company of Bharti Enterprises, has recently joined the same category.

One of the top officials of Touchtel promised that after the completion of cable-laying work, the roads would be repaired, but just one lane has been restored till now by the MCD.

As per the government policy, the restoration work can be carried out by the MCD only and the corporation charges a packet from the companies for carrying out the digging work.

TC Mitla, president, Hauz Khas Welfare Association said, “We allowed them to carry out the work as they promised that the condition would be brought back to its original shape. The work had been completed seven months ago and the new connections activated, but the road condition remains the same.”

Dr Ashok Kaushik, another resident added, “We are really in trouble. The RR cut, i.e. the road restoration was never done in any area. When the money has been paid, what is the problem in executing the work. Our back lanes are in pathetic condition. We don’t know whom to approach. The company that has dug the area has paid the restoration charges, but the MCD does not respond. We face the problem not the MCD.”

However, the company provided its own reasons for not undertaking the restoration work.

Anupama M Jhingon, Community Manager Touchtel responded, “As per the government policy, the restoration work can be carried out by the MCD only and they charge a hefty amount from all the companies who carry out the work of digging for laying cables. I assured the association that we would do the job without damage. We have already paid the MCD for restoring the roads and back lanes.”

She said, “In all the blocks and colonies, we have done this only. However, in Y block Hauz Khas, we fixed the stone as it was easier but that does not serve the purpose. We have done this to maintain good relations with the residents. We earn a bad name due to all this. But now we have pressurised the government to give us the ‘dig and restore’ permission for which we will have to pay a certain amount to the MCD. But, considering the problem of the people, we will definitely speak to the MCD and tell them to repair the damages.”


Ballabgarh development
The road to hell is paved with good intentions
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 19
Ballabgarh may be known as the twin city of Faridabad but it is lagging far behind when it comes to the basic civic amenities, let alone mod cons available in a city of such stature. The pot-holed roads are not repaired for months. Time and again, the residents of the city make demands like the construction of a mini-secretariat, a sports stadium, a modern hospital, provision of sewerage network and construction of parks in the town.

The state government has accepted the demands also but the work on their implementation is yet to begin. Only intentions are there, howsoever honest they may be!

The town has a historical background, still it has a record number of unregularised colonies. Although the town has been intermingling with the industrial hub of Faridabad, the focus of development seems to be lacking as the majority of the residential areas have no civic amenities.

The town having a population of four lakh has been enjoying a say in the politics. The present MLA (Independent) from Ballabgarh, Mr Rajinder Bisla, is not only supporting the present government but having good relations with the chief minister.

It is worth mentioning that the present Mayor of Faridabad is also a resident of Ballabgarh and represents the wards in the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF). One of the INLD activists from here has been a member of the Staff Selection Commission (Board) of Haryana.

According to Mr Ashok Gupta, a social activist and resident of Bhoodat Colony, the authorities pay little attention to the development of civic amenities and as a result, the majority of roads were in disrepair. He said that the drains were either choked or damaged and garbage is littered all over.

According to Jagdish Hooda, a resident of Malerna Road, more than half of the 80-odd residential colonies were unauthorised on the record of MCF and the civic body had ‘no budget’ to provide the civic amenities.

He said the roads were not repaired properly. As a result, they develop potholes within a few weeks.

Mr Dhanesh Gupta, a leading trader and office-bearer of the Cloth Merchants Association, said that Ballabhgarh required more attention and funds, so that the civic facilities could be made available. He said the town had a perennial problem of water shortage.

The civil hospital at Ballabgarh, has been reduced to only a referral centre as patients are normally referred to B K Civil Hospital, said Rupesh, a local resident.


‘Need for corporates to be involved in civic works’

New Delhi, April 19
The Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi today honoured Coca-Cola India with a special citation for the initiatives taken by the company to plan and implement a number of rainwater harvesting and solid waste management schemes in various parts of Delhi in association with the state government and local bodies.

The special citation in appreciation of Coca-Cola India’s commendable work in these areas was presented by the Chief Minister, Mrs Sheila Dikshit to the company’s vice-president, Public Affairs and Communications, Mr Sunil Gupta, at a special ceremony at Pragati Maidan.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister stressed the need for active participation of corporates alongside the citizens’ fora and the government to improve civic conditions in the sprawling metropolitan city-state. She complimented Coca-Cola India for its laudable work in this field and urged other companies to come forward to participate in similar partnership programmes.

Mr Gupta said, “the experience of working with the Delhi Government and local resident associations has been extremely rewarding. We feel proud to be associated with the local community and the government to play some useful role in the society.”

Mr Gupta said that Coca-Cola India is involved in a number of community programmes in the fields of education and healthcare among the deprived sections of the city.

Last year, the company organised two-month long health camps in Delhi, covering nearly 10,000 slum dwellers in eight large shanty towns in and around Delhi City in association with St. John’s Ambulance Brigade. TNS


Vigilance committees to keep tabs on plans for welfare of rural poor
Our Correspondent

Rewari, April 19
The Union Ministry of Rural Development has recently set up state level vigilance and monitoring committees under the chairmanship of rural development minister of the state concerned as well as district level vigilance and monitoring committees under the chairmanship of the local member of Parliament.

This has been done to ensure that its various programmes for the development of infrastructure, habitats and land resources in the rural areas are implemented according to its set guidelines. Thus, the committees will serve as a forum for the effective monitoring of the programmes implemented for the welfare of the rural poor.

Mr Jiwan Ram Garg, president of the Khol Block committee of the BJP nominated by Mr Annasaheb M.K. Patil, Union Minister of State for Rural Development, as a member of the Rewari District Vigilance Committee which would work under the chairmanship of Dr Sudha Yadav, MP.

The Monitoring Division of the Ministry of Rural Development has also sent a copy of the guidelines to Mr Garg for the purpose.

It is also noteworthy that Major Shri Krishan ( retd.) of Rewari has also been selected as national level monitor for the Ministry of Rural Development by its division. Recently, he also attended a familiarisation workshop at the Academy of Management Studies (AMS ), Lucknow (UP).

Outstanding SITM

Among all the 20 engineering colleges of Haryana, affiliated with the MD University, Rohtak, the Somany Institute of Technology and Management (SITM), Rewari, has carved out a niche for itself on the basis of the outstanding performance of its students in academics as well as cultural activities. It is all the more creditable that the SITM has just completed two years of its existence.

It is noteworthy that two students of the SITM, Jitender Malik and Karthik Krishnan, have both secured first position in the university in Information and Technology and Computer Science respectively (third semester) examinations held in December 2002.

Besides, five other students of the SITM are on the merit list of the university. Among them Jaya Rani (first semester) has attained first position while Anuj Maheshwari, Meenu and Ruchi Singh (third semester, Information and Technology) have bagged eighth, ninth and 12th position respectively. Further Sourabh Kumar (third semester, computer science) has gained 11th position in the university.

Dr Vijay Somani, chairman of the SITM, announced that both the university toppers, Jitender Malik and Karthik Krishnan, would be given Swatantrata Senani R.D. Somany Scholarships which have been instituted by the management in the name of the late Mr R.D. Somany, a freedom fighter and educationist of the Rewari region.

In the domains of cultural activities, a 21-member contingent of SITM, comprising 15 boys and 6 girls, gave an excellent performance in various items at the national level cultural festival titled “Techno Fest-2003” held at YMCA, Faridabad, recently. As many as 900 students of about two dozen professional colleges from various states of the country participated in the festival.

The SITM students bagged first prize in extempore play as well as stage play while they won second prize in mime and third prizes in duet dance, TPS mechanical and solo song. Besides, solo dance presented by Poonam Sharma was adjudged the best item of the festival by the critiques/ critics.

The students were honoured at a simple function held recently in the SITM in which the principal, Mr I.D.Bansal, complimented them, saying that they had brought glory to the college as well as the Rewari region by their superb performance at the Techno Fest 2003.

Environment camp

An Environment Awareness camp was held under the auspices of Jan Sewa Mandal, Rewari as part of the National Environment Awareness Campaign in Saraswati Vihar High School, Chhuriawas, 7 km from here, on Friday.

Students presented a colourful cultural programme which highlighted the importance of pollution-free environment in life. Besides, carrying relevant banners and placards, they also circumambulated the entire village.

In his keynote address, Mr Ram Swarup Verma, a retired public relations officer, cautioned the people against certain things causing air, water and noise pollution while Mr Ram Avtar Yadav, B.D.P.O. Rewari, through recitation of his environment-related poem, stressed the importance for safe maintenance of ozone layer which was essential for human existence on earth.

In the same context, Mr Munshi Singh, a retired school lecturer, emphasised the organisation of ‘havans’ for keeping the atmosphere free from pollution while Mr Sukhi Nand Dahyia, president of the Jan Sewa Mandal, gave information regarding various public welfare activities being conducted by the Jan Sewa Mandal.


Fire incidents scald Sonepat areas
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 19
Come summer and the fire breaks out in a number of places. During the past 24 hours, half a dozen incidents of have been reported in different parts of the district. Goods including wheat and husk worth lakhs of rupees have reportedly been gutted.

According to information, a major fire broke out in the wheat fields of Jharonth village adjacent to the drain No. 8 and in this incident, standing wheat crop in about 12 acres was completely destroyed. Moreover, it spread in the adjacent fields in around 60 acres where the harvesting had been completed with combine harvesters.

Besides, informing the fire station in Sonepat, the villagers brought the tractors from the village and ploughed the fields around the areas of fire so that it does not spread in other fields. On receiving information, the revenue officials reportedly reached the fields to assess the losses and the cause of the fire which was stated to be a spark due to short circuit in an electricity transformer.

In other incident of fire in a shoe shop on Rohtak Road, shoes and other articles worth thousands of rupees were destroyed in the fire which was put off by two fire tenders in half an hour. The shop belonged to Roshal Lal who has reportedly stated that the fire broke out due to short circuit in the electricity wires of the shop.

Another incident of fire was also reported in an oil mill at Bahalgarh. As informed by the officials of Hafed, a fire was noticed in the dry grass on premises of the S R Oil mill where the Hafed-a wheat procurement agency of the state government, had stored thousands of quintals of wheat.

However the fire was brought under control with the timely arrival of fire tenders. This was reportedly the third incident of fire within this mill in last one week.


Khurana predicts worst water, power crisis
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
The Delhi BJP chief, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, said with sharp hike in electricity tariff being planned by the government and private power distribution companies, the Capital was heading towards the worst water and power crisis in its history.

“The Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government in the state is doing nothing to increase water availability, and allowing private power distribution companies to loot the people,” he said.

The former chief minister said that the BJP was going to stage “Chetavani” (Warning) dharna on April 22 to give a signal to the Delhi Government that if it failed to prevent the water and power crisis, it would launch a mass agitation to protect the interest of the people.

While addressing the newsmen, Mr Khuran said that before privatisation, the Delhi Government had been procuring electricity from other states at the rate of Rs 2.60 per unit and selling it to the people for Rs 4.50 per unit.

After the privatisation, the electricity was being procured at the same rate but sold to the private companies at the rate of Rs 1.32 to Rs 1.48, he said.

The companies, instead of reducing the tariff, had decided to increase it by 25 to 30 per cent and the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission had started formulating the increase on their submission, he said.

During the past nine months, the private distribution companies have suffered a loss of Rs 1,821 crore.

Before privatisation, the Delhi Vidyut Board had been incurring losses of only Rs 800 to Rs 1,000 crore every year, he pointed out.

Mr Khurana also held the Congress government responsible for the water crisis. The Capital is short of water by 410 MGD this month, which may become more acute as summer reaches its peak, he said.

The line from Nangloi treatment Plant, from which 40 cusecs of water should be made available, has been breached, but the government has failed to get it repaired.

Moreover, the government had also failed to construct a pucca canal from Moonk in Haryana, in the absence of which 30 per cent of raw water coming from that state is lost due to evaporation and seepage, he added.


X-ray room used for flesh trade in Sonepat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 19
A police party conducted a surprise raid in an X-ray room of a civil hospital here last evening and caught a woman involved in flesh trade. However, four youths, said to be the employees of the hospital, managed to escape. According to a report, the police failed to apprehend them. The raid followed a tip-off that the X-ray room was being used for flesh trade. However, the police have not yet registered any case on the reported intervention of some influential people, who wanted to hush up the case.

5-yr RI under NDPS Act

The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr R K Bishnoi, has convicted one Chander Bhan of Pipli village under the NDPS Act and sentenced him to five years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 25,000, or in default, to undergo further one year rigorous imprisonment. According to the prosecution story, the Kharkhauda police had registered a case under NDPS Act against the culprit on August 19 last year following the recovery of 650 grams charas from his possession.

In another case, the Judge also rejected the bail application of one Deepak, facing trial in a murder case.

The accused had been arrested in connection with the murder of Rameshwar. In a case of murderous assault, the Judge also rejected the bail application of an accused Sandeep of Bhatgaon

Village, who was arrested under Section 307 of IPC and the Indian Arms Act by the police in July 2000.

Bank manager honoured

Mr R. K. Chopra, senior branch manager of the Oriental Bank of Commerce, Sonepat, was honoured by Mr Y. K. Virmani, Regional Manager of the bank, at a colourful function organised on the premises of Kuber Hotel on the G. T. Road, about 8 km from here today.

According to a report, the Sonepat branch of the bank had come out on top in profitability, deposits, advance and recovery in the Rohtak region.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Vermani praised the concerted efforts of Mr Chopra in improving the image of the bank in the region.

Anti-encroachment drive

The officials of the Sonepat Municipal Council relaunched the anti-encroachment campaign in the city today, and removed encroachments by the shopkeepers in the areas of Gita Bhawan, Gurdwara road and the bus stand road. According to a report, the action followed a series of public complaints against encroachments by the shopkeepers.


Death, resurrection and redemption

The Christian religion holds that God, who had always through His messengers and prophets, communicated His word to man, at last, as the climax of His grace, sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world, to redeem fallen man.

On Good Friday (which fell on April 18), Christians observed the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Why call the day of death, “Good?’’ Through His death, foretold nearly 700 years before His birth by Prophet Isaiah, Christ was accomplishing the ultimate sacrifice for the redemption of the whole human race. And it is the belief of Christians that those who come to trust in Him—-his birth in human flesh, death and resurrection—will have eternal life..

“Easter” (which falls this Sunday) is all about the resurrection of Jesus, whose body, after His crucifixion, was kept in a tomb. On the third day, Jesus appeared to many of His disciples. The fact of the resurrection has been recorded even by non-Christian historians.

On Easter morning, pious Christians greet each other with the salutation, “The Lord is risen!”

He was crucified between two thieves on a Friday. And the cowardly disciples had shut themselves in a room afraid of the Jews who had killed their Master. Once Jesus appeared before them, they regained courage, came out of their hiding and boldly preached the Gospel. The illiterate fishermen turned the world upside down. Resurrection is the proof that death is not the end of the road for man. The fear of death haunting him from birth is finally conquered at the Cross.

The supreme message of the resurrection is that God is living and His power is available to man. There is a power in whom man could trust and which would never allow evil to finally triumph.

The frightened disciples, according to the Biblical account, have gathered in an upper room hiding from their enemies. Their Master is dead and they are afraid of the Jews. The situation looked hopeless.

A few weeks later the same men are out in the streets and aflame with superhuman confidence. They have a message, which they proclaim fearlessly. They are out to conquer the world. The contrast is between two pictures—one of abject despair and the other full of triumph—can only be explained by one event: Christ is risen.

The Gospel account of this supreme event bears the marks of reality and authenticity. The witness of the disciples who began to preach boldly brought conviction to thousands who joined the fold of faith. The amazing transformation of a motley group of disciples again disproved that resurrection could be an invented story. Each one of them met a martyr’s death.

The Church would not have prevailed in the world if Christ had not risen from the grave. The person of Jesus Himself, His sheer vitality had from the beginning impressed His disciples. “In Him was life” declared John. At his touch lepers were cleansed. The blind received sight. He healed all manners of diseases. He even rebuked and silenced the storm. When He called even the ‘dead’ Lazarus came out of the grave. The moral perfection of sinlessness of Jesus is another irrefutable factor. In Jesus alone, among the sons of men, the final break with sin has been achieved. In Him the power of Spirit over matter was fully set free and not thwarted by sin. And hence with Him the impossible became possible.

One can feel uneasy with the description of God suffering on the Cross! The common concept of a god who is utterly aloof, totally unmoved by human affairs, functioning something like a field of force or a great principle does not tally with a God who suffers. Language fails to explain the mystery of not only God’s suffering, but suffering in the human realm. The Cross is a symbol of suffering. The Cross was the symbol of sacrifice. It was the altar where the Lamb of God was slaughtered to take away the sin of the world, according to the Bible.

There is a verse in the Bible, which makes clear the application of suffering and the “death and resurrection” principle. It reads like this: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it dies it bringeth forth much fruit.’’ This life-through-death principle applies to Christian service as well. It is the law of the Kingdom of God. Fruitfulness is costly. It is in dying that we become life givers. Through a combination of inward struggles, wrestling with weaknesses and trying circumstances we have to learn to die to self everyday (1 Corinthians 15:31). The seed must perish for the harvest to be produced.

C. S. Lewis, a well-known Christian author, was initially an atheist. He knew what non-believers thought of Christianity. He, in writings, dealt with their objections and their problems. And one of the books he wrote was called ‘The Problem of Pain’. In it, he took up the problem of human suffering. He showed how the problem of pain did not prove that there was no God; in fact He showed that the fact of God’s existence and even of His love was substantiated by the fact that we suffer pain in this life. His wife died of cancer in the sixties and the impact of the pain was too much for him. He wrote another book, A Grief Observed, detailing his experience. His faith in God has been severely tried but purified.

The Cross has been written into the constitution of things. John Henry Cardinal Newman has written as follows on the meaning of the Cross: “It is the death of the eternal word of God made flesh which is our great lesson how to think and how to speak of the world. His Cross has put its due value upon everything which we see, upon all fortunes, all advantages, all ranks, all dignities all pleasures; upon the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life……it has taught us how to live, how to use the world, what to expect, what to desire, what to hope.”

M P K Kutty


Ex-corporator among 3 arrested for murder
Our Correspondents

Ghaziabad, April 19
The Kavi Nagar police claimed to have solved the murder of a travel agent, Sonvir Singh alias Bittu of Shastri Nagar. The police have arrested a former corporator of BSP, along with two hired killers, after an encounter near Rajpur railway crossing.

The three arrested have confessed to the murder of the travel agent on April 15, Senior Superintendent of Police, Chander Prakash said. Two revolver and a Maruti car (No. DL-C 3095) used in the crime were recovered by the police.

The arrested persons include a criminal Sudhir Gujjar, who has escaped from the Saharanpur Court complex and carries an award of Rs 2,500 on his head. Sandeep Chaudhuri of Muzzafarnagar and Shekhar Jat of Shastri Nagar, Ghaziabad, a former Corporator of BSP, were also arrested.

The Senior Superintendent of Police said that 17 serious cases were registered against Sudhir Gujjar at Nirahpur, Saharanpur, Dev Band, Badgaon, Hardwar, Janakpuri Purquazi etc. The two other criminals also have many cases registered against them at various police stations, the police said.

Leased land to be registered in the name of house owners

Sonepat: Thousand of families, who had constructed their houses on lease land of the Municipal Council and have been living there for decades, heaved a sigh of relief when they were informed that the leased land would be registered in their name. In effect, they would become the legal owners of that land. According to the Executive Officer of Sonepat Municipal Council, Mr Satbir Singh Ahlawat, there were more than 800 houses and shops, which were on leased out land in many localities, including Garhi Ghasita, Garhi Brahmanan, Mehlana and Kakroi roads, Subhash Chowk, Mission road and Button Factory areas. Earlier, the government had finalised plans to complete the registration of the leased out shops and houses in the name of the lease holders upto February 13, 1980. Most of the people had even deposited the required amounts, but due to some technical reasons, the registration could not be completed, he said.

Attempt to steal scooters

Some unidentified miscreants were reported to have stolen two scooters parked outside the emergency ward of the civil hospital here late last evening. One scooter belonged to a medical officer and the other to a lab technician.

According to a report, the miscreants had dragged the scooters for a distance after a failed attempt to break open the locks. Thereafter, they damaged the indicators, meters and seats and fled, leaving the scooters there. The incident has caused a panic and resentment among the staff of the hospital.

Murder case registered

The police have registered a case of murder against Azad Singh of Bhigan village and his wife Mrs Jawanti and have started investigations into the case. This followed after a complaint was filed by the father of the victim, Mr Nirmal, who has alleged that his son was murdered by the couple, when he had gone to their house to recover the amount which he had given to them on loan.

The complainant also alleged that the woman had poured kerosene oil on Nirmal and set his clothes on fire. Nirmal was rushed to a Delhi hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Azad Singh and his wife also sustained burn injuries and Azad Singh is also undergoing treatment in a private hospital at Delhi.


Utsav that touches the soul
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
Bhakti Utsav, a three-day festival of Bhakti Sangeet, is a retreat for the religious deities. The festival, which is being organized by the Delhi Tourism from April 18-20 in the Capital, has been designed to highlight all forms and facets of Bhakti–from dohas of Kabir to Gurbani, bhajans and Sufi qawwalies.

The schedule attempts to include the best of both classical and folk forms. The choice of performances appeals to the emotional psyche of the people and would have a direct reach-out.

Anup Jalota sang popular bhajans on the first day of the ‘Bhakti Utsav, while Pandit Channulal Misra recited Ramayana Path. Girls from the Varanasi Kanaya Peeth performed Mantra Uccharan on all the three days of the festival.

On the second day of the Utsav, Nizami Bandhus, Gulam Farid and Chand performed Sufiana Qawwalies. Sufi music transcends boundaries and it is the music that is responded to at a very deep level. ‘The soul understands it even if the head does not’, explained Gulam Farid Nizammi.

On the last day, the Utsav will have haveli sangeet by Pandit Jasraj, Kabir bhajans by Prahlad Singh Tipanya, Tulsi Surdas Darshan by Vasundhara and Kalapani Komkali.

Cinema tickets to cost less

Passing on the entire benefit of the cut in Entertainment tax by the Delhi Government to customers, PVR Limited has announced a reduction in ticket prices across all its cinemas in Delhi. The new tariffs with immediate effect are as follows. PVR Saket from Rs 150 to Rs 125, PVR Naraina from Rs 150 to Rs 125, PVR Vikaspuri from Rs 150 to Rs 125, PVR Priya, premier class from Rs 160 to 130, star class I from Rs 130 to Rs 110, standard class from Rs 90 to Rs 75 and front stall from Rs 50 to Rs 45.

Announcing the new rate, Mr Ajay Bijli, managing director, PVR Limited, said, “We are pleased to pass on the entire entertainment tax benefits to our patrons. We are confident that this will significantly increase the number of people going to cinemas.

The reduction could not have come at a better time since summer is generally the peak season for the cinema industry. “This landmark move by the Delhi Government to reduce entertainment tax will go a long way in promoting cinemas and increasing traffic to movie halls, and we welcome this move,” added Mr Bijli.

The announcement follows a notification approved by the Delhi Government to effect Entertainment tax deduction.


Robbery cases solved with arrest of dreaded criminal
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 19
With the arrest of a dreaded criminal, Pardeep Kumar of Pipli village, the police have solved two cases of alleged robbery.

The first robbery was committed on December 10, 2001, near Bhigan village of this district and another on March 28 in the office of the Life Insurance Corporation of India in Sector 15 of this city.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, told mediapersons here today that the culprit, during the course of interrogation, had confessed to snatching Rs 4.2 lakh from Mr Ram Kant, a labour contractor, while he was going to the Hindustan Tins factory for disbursement of money to the workers.

The police chief said that the arrested criminal also gave the names of other suspects, identified as Umesh of Garhi Kundal village, Parteek of Nangloi (Delhi) and Vijay and Mukesh of Mangolpuri (Delhi).

The police chief further disclosed that the suspect along with Gurjent, Umresh alias Unnu of Solan (Himachal Pradesh), Harjeet of Binoli (Punjab), Harjeet alias Papoo of Solan (Himachal Pradesh) and Narinder of Chhara village (Jhajjar district), had committed a dacoity in the office of the LIC in Sector 15 on March 28 and looted Rs 19.54 lakh from the cashier and guard of the bank.

They had stayed in a hotel on the G.T. Road, owned by Mr Neeraj alias Chhotu of Jasia village in Rohtak district.

According to the SP, the arrested people had received Rs 90,000 as their share in a dacoity case of Bhigan village and another Rs 3 lakh from another dacoity case in the LIC office.

The suspect, he said, had kept Rs 1.50 lakh in his house and the remaining amount had been spent.


Recession compels cable manufacturers to put their heads together
Tribune News Service

Bhiwadi (Alwar), April 19
Stung by the recession, the cable manufacturers in this industrial township of Bhiwadi have decided to form an association to provide vigour to their marketing initiatives. One of the industrialists behind this initiative is Mr R.S.Jain, who feels that all the cable manufacturing units must join hands.

There is a growing feeling among the industrialists here that if things are allowed to drift in the present manner, they will soon have to close shops. There are about a score of big cable manufacturing plants in Bhiwadi, the biggest industrial complex in Rajasthan set up by the state government.

The industrialists here had set up their plants with high hopes in the face of all-round expansion. Many of the plants here supply goods to the BSNL, MTNL and electricity boards of various states in the country including Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

However, for the past six months the demand has thinned considerably, to the extent that many of the plants are functioning below their optimal production capacity. Some of the units of the plants are said to have stopped production on account of drying up of demand from the government sources (the biggest clients). This has unnerved the entrepreneurs as many have invested ‘fortunes’ to set up their plants here.

According to Mr Jain, he had set up his plant following the closure of his plant in Mahipalpur in Delhi by the pollution board. He alleged that while some cable manufacturing units in Mahipalpur in Delhi were allowed to continue, his factory was sealed for reason best known to the authorities. Anticipating a better future, he was able to set up his plant in Bhiwadi after a period of about two years.

But things have not gone well for him as well as others in this business. Many of the industrialists, who have shifted their base to Rajasthan from other states, alleged that the demand has dwindled on account of faulty policies followed by the government.

They prefer low quotation rates by a selected few, which are often much below the genuine market rate. Obviously, in such a situation, compromise with quality has to be made.

Also, the competition in the market has grown many folds in the last few years, especially from foreign manufacturers. For example, the goods from China and Taiwan are much cheaper.

The domestic production is at the wrong side of the market as the costs of raw materials are very high.

The domestic manufacturers want a level playing field, particularly as far as availability and costs of raw materials are concerned.

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